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Wednesday, 07 April 2010 10:27

The Optimen Interview

Boomtown Representing

If you were to scroll through Brisbane’s hip hop honour roll, you’d find more than a couple of references to The Optimen. The Boomtown lads have been shaping the beats and spits coming out of the River City for more than a decade now.

This week sees the commercial release of their second LP, ‘The Out Of Money Experience’; quite the achievement when you consider the album was ready and awaiting shipment to record stores this time last year, until their distributor felt the full force of the GFC.

“As some may be aware, our old distributor, Shogun obviously went under unfortunately midway through last year,” laments producer/ emcee DATS. “We basically had a version done about halfway through last year and because of the business side of things, it’s taken until now for (the album) to come out. But we’ve added a couple of extra tracks, a few beats were swapped around. We didn’t rest on our laurels.

“(But) it was disappointing, particularly because Shogun had been with us since the start and had had our back. And I know for a fact that Adam, who was running Shogun, probably never made a cent off of any of our releases. There were no hard feelings at the end of the day, it was pretty much down to the fact people aren’t buying CDs anymore, hence ‘The Out Of Money Experience’.”

Clocking in at 18 tracks, if you include a couple of remixes as well as an interlude or two, ‘The Out Of Money Experience’ is choc full of fat productions, soulful beats, smouldering rhymes and an overall vibe that simply oozes top-shelf class.

“We had a couple of tracks re-mastered that we weren’t happy with, added a new track; ‘30 Rock’ which wasn’t on the original album. We also added a couple of remixes, so (the album) is a little bloated, but I guess that’s what you get when you’ve been sitting on something for a year ... for us we create beats, we mix the beats, the only thing we don’t do is master them. I guess to our ears (the album) wasn’t so fresh, so we had to do something to keep ourselves occupied.”

Along with fellow producer/ emcee Sammsonite, MC Kristof The Russian, DJ Damage and Peter Beatie (MPC/ sampling lord), DATS and The Optimen are about to enter the most important phase (on the commercial side at least) of their career. If success attaches itself to ‘The Out Of Money Experience’, the Boomtown crew could face the sort of national exposure that could see them become a permanent fixture on the Australian scene.

“I feel like it’s all an upward trajectory and who knows what it is going to do in terms of making money. But whatever we do from here, whether we’re producing for other people or branching out and doing stuff with bands like Mr Laneous (And The Family Yah), we’re going to do our upmost to try and get it out there and hope people enjoy it.”

Whilst the musical progression of The Optimen is plain for all to see, DATS doesn’t mind conceding the guys are most comfortable rapping about subject matter that plays a major role in their lives, even if that illicits labels such as ‘beer and bbqs hip hop’.

“We’re just doing the grown man version of that now. With the track ‘Something In The Air’, it’s about smoking weed. We also have a track about drinking beers. But we’re doing it with a twist. We just wanted to be a bit more subtle this time round, a bit more sophisticated I think.

“You have to rap about things that dominate your life, and if you look at the record, you have songs about death, we have the ‘Dust’ track where we’re talking about what does it all mean; you have the weed-smoking song, we have the beer drinking song, ‘On The Rocks’, and we also have songs about money as well. We’re covering all the major bases.”

With the album in stores this Friday, now comes the promotional part of the record-making process as The Optimen hit the streets to spread the word to every man and his dog.

“We did consciously try and cut back the number of shows we were doing, particularly in Brisbane so the stuff would be a bit fresher to people’s ears. So the next four, five months we’ll pick-up the number of shows we’re playing and also change up the show from set to set so you won’t necessarily hear the same thing.”

‘The Out Of Money Experience’ is available from April 9 through Red Tape Entertainment/ Inertia Distribution. Grab a slice of the new material when The Optimen headline the Decked Out TV show at The Jubilee Friday April 9.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009 10:05

Laneous & The Family Yah 26.08.2009

Dux Of West End

Mr Laneous certainly ain’t a beacon of secondary and tertiary education success; rather the West End musician harks back to that long lost coming of age rite - the high school dropout. But rather than finding his way into a slow decline of deviant behaviour, the ‘Lovable Tramp’ has tapped into his inner creative juices, unleashing a slew of artist driven projects that have spawned The Family Yah.

“I’m so glad that I dropped out of school, it’s allowed me to create the group of friends that I have now. I probably wouldn’t of met the people who are in the band now, if it weren’t for jumping straight into that scene when I left school. I think a lot of the guys in the band are of a similar nature as well.”

The band is The Family Yah, and Mr Laneous is the easily excited, always experimenting conductor, leading a gargantuan ensemble of musicians, singers and rappers on a musical journey that even he at times, has no idea where it’s headed.

“It’s hard to know what’s going to come out on the outside, it’s hard to know how people are going to take (the music). But I guess, we wanted to stay eclectic so that we didn’t have too, how do you say it? We didn’t want to be boxed in too much, so I guess without being too eclectic, we made the album fairly loose in terms of genre so we had more room to move in the future. It just kinda happened y’know, we recorded whatever we were doing at the time and hoped for the best, really.”

The record Mr Laneous refers to is ‘St. Ill Regal’, a project that was written, scraped, put back together and jammed on for close on two years. Whilst the bones of the album took time to align, the soulful, hip hop, underground pop flesh of the record occurred quite organically once the band took to the studio.

“When we were tracking the album, we had a handful of songs that were actually written but then half of the album just happened in the studio y’know, it just kinda came out randomly and we improvised a lot of the music.”

Integrating the character of West End, along with the many weird and wonderful souls that inhabit the inner city suburb, into the recording was another important element that Mr Laneous made sure was included on ‘St. Ill Regal’.

“There was a mixture of that happening naturally and also intentionally as well. I mean, we had to have Pesto (West End emcee) on it; it wouldn’t be a Mr Laneous & The Family Yah album without those West End elements in it, and I think we’ll always have West End in our blood.”

With a two week stint touring Sydney and Melbourne just completed, and with the album recently hitting record store shelves, the band are already well advanced on a follow-up release, which looks like being another longplayer.

“We drove down (to Melbourne) straight after Sydney and we hired this pretty cool pad and set up a bit of of a studio in this apartment. It’s kinda funny, we had to keep it down, keep it as quiet as possible because the apartments were close together, but we did some pre-production for the next album.”

And what sorta sounds is Laneous & The Family Yah currently percolating?

“We want to, we’re trying to go a little bit easy on... we don’t want to go too far out to soon. So it does follow on from the album pretty nicely, but we are trying to be a little more crazier. Basically, because it has taken so long to release this last album, in that time, we’ve been writing non-stop because we didn’t want the experience to be stale for us. So we’ve been writing heaps and heaps and the songs have been basically burning a hole in my pocket and I’m just so keen to get those tunes out there.”

You can catch Laneous & The Family Yah at the Hi-Fi Friday August 28. They also play the QUT Spiegeltent Sunday September 13. ‘St. Ill Regal’ is available now through Bird Fire Records.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009 10:06

Cut Chemist

 

MUSIC TEACHER

It’s enough to make even the most hardened hip hop head drool with unabashed pleasure - De La Soul celebrating their 20th anniversary by touring Australia as a 13-piece band.

But when you add turntablist freak Cut Chemist to the mix, you just know urban folklore is waiting to happen.

“It’s kinda a big deal right? (De La Soul in 13-piece band mode),” questions Lucas MacFadden, aka Cut Chemist, from his Californian home. “I mean it’s their 20-year anniversary. (So) I’m planning a multimedia presentation. It’s me DJing and visuals and I’ll have my rapper with me (Hymnal) so it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s going to be educational.”

It seems teaching has always played a major role in Cut’s musical career. Aiding in the development of hip hop throughout the 90s, with his roles in seminal urban act Jurassic 5 and Latin-rock outfit Ozomatli, MacFadden is always on the lookout for new techniques and technologies to further his own musical career; and that of his fans.

“Absolutely. I try to learn something new with every show or every time I come back from a tour, I don’t want to have to do the same thing every time. So there’s always some new type of medium or new type of music to learn. I always try and keep it very skillful (as well), so lots of scratching and lots of manipulation of music live, so people know what I’m doing and know how I make my music; that is really important to me.”

First springing to prominence as the DJ/producer for Unity Committee, the rap posse who would later become J5, Cut Chemist says time has passed by faster than most would imagine since the early days of the Good Life Cafe - a Health Food Center in South Central Los Angeles that played host to an open-mic night, where the likes of Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and The Pharcyde honed their skills.

“It’s funny you should ask ‘cause it really doesn’t (feel that long ago). We’d gotten together to do a (J5) reunion not too long ago and I was telling Charli 2na - I was like ‘wow, it feels like the 18 years that happened in between never happened’. Almost like all this shit happened yesterday and mentally y’know, I still look at music with the same kinda intent, although the type of music I like and the approach I use to present it is different (now).”

One aspect of his craft that seems to have suffered over the years has been the excitement factor at finding new records no one else knows about.

“I don’t know if I have the same passion; I don’t think so, especially with what I used to have. I guess I have a passion for different things. Like when I find a great record that I don’t think anybody else knows about I get really excited. I think the problem is that happens a lot less now than it used to. I feel like if I find a record and I know everybody knows about it, it’s like ‘mmmn, I don’t care’. Everybody knows about everything because of the damn internet!”

Although a lifer when it comes to music, MacFadden does admit to seeking out new challenges within the arts world. A larger role within Hollywood could soon be on the cards, after Cut’s appearance in the 2007 film ‘Juno’.

“That was fun. I’m going to do another one too when I get back (from the De La Soul tour). It’s different, it’s totally different from performing music. It’s cool, I’m not really an actor but I just had fun with it and smiled and did my part and raided the catering!

“I’d like to do more cause I find it easy. It’s really rewarding to have people know about you - I’ve been doing music for what, 15 years and I’m on the screen for four seconds and it’s like I’ve gotten more notice doing one little, small part in a movie than like doing all this music. So (acting) is certainly rewarding in that respect.”

Cut Chemist joins De La Soul - in 13-piece band mode- at The Tivoli Sunday May 3. Please note the venue change.

Wednesday, 04 February 2009 23:05

Low Budget

Laserdisc

Dripping in party funk, disco-inspired grooves and sun-drenched beats, Melbourne’s Low Budget have a longplayer, ‘Laserdisc’, of outstanding quality on their hands. MC Gentleman Gene and producer/ DJ Debonair P talk up the talk.

How did you approach the recording process this time with the experience you'd gained from making 'Magnasound'?
Gentleman Gene: When we recorded ‘Magnasound’ we were still figuring out how to put songs together and there was a lot of trial and error involved - it ended up being quite a laborious process. This time around, we were much better prepared and more confident about what we were doing in the studio, so the whole recording process was a lot more fun and spontaneous.

The sound of 'Laserdisc' - it's funky, it's hip hop, it's soulful, it has groove. What were you looking to craft sound-wise with this album?
Debonair P: I guess the main thing we were trying to do was to make something a bit different - both from all the other hip hop albums that are on the market at the moment, and also different from the music we'd recorded previously. We really tried to give the album a unique flavour that will hopefully catch people's ears and that will be closely associated with us.

When it came to mixing in dancefloor fillers with laidback joints on the album, did you want a mixture of moods across the record?
Debonair P: Definitely - it would have been boring for us creatively to record 14 tracks that all sounded similar, and it would have resulted in an album that was boring to listen to as well. While we tried to incorporate a variety of styles and moods, we also aimed to make the album cohesive as a whole. A lot of albums that are coming out at the moment can sound quite disjointed and sound more like a bunch of tracks than a single album, and this is something we really tried to avoid.

The production of this record is anything but low budget!! Crafting such a polished, but warm sound - that can't be easy?
Debonair P: ‘Laserdisc’ was still produced and recorded at a low cost as we handle everything ourselves - there aren't any guest producers or MC's on the album. I used the same equipment for producing and mixing the songs on ‘Laserdisc’ as I did on ‘Magnasound’, but I had a much better idea about making it all sound nice and clean this time around which is why this album sounds more polished.

Have you had a chance to road test these new tracks yet?
Gentleman Gene: ‘Laserdisc’ was highly influenced by the process of crafting songs for our live shows, and a lot of the tracks we recorded for the album were the ones that we'd had the best response to when we played them live. We've put together a really energetic and upbeat live show and so far we've been getting a really good response, both from hip hop heads and people who you wouldn't necessarily expect to like hip hop.

Away from the music, studio, tour van - how do you guys chill? A Saturday arvo game of badminton perhaps?
Debonair P: We're both really busy people outside of music so Low Budget is pretty much what we do with our free time. Being independent artists, we handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes aspects ourselves, be it editing videos or getting t-shirts printed up, so there's always something new to be done whenever we have a spare moment.

New album in your back pocket - what else is on the bulletin board for Low Budget in 2009?
Gentleman Gene: We finished recording ‘Laserdisc’ last year, so since then we've been working on some new songs that we'll hopefully be able to release as an EP later this year. We've been taking a bit of a break from doing shows recently while getting the album ready, but we're definitely itching to get back on the stage. There are still a few places like Brisbane where we haven't yet had a chance to play a proper show, so hopefully that'll happen real soon.
The Matchstick

‘Laserdisc’ is to be released February 14 through Shogun Distribution. Keep your eyes out for a Low Budget tour later in the year.

Wednesday, 01 April 2009 04:24

Halfkast & The Grand Audio Family

HalfkastWe Didn't Start The Fire

Melding funky grooves to soulful hip hop jams with a hint of rock charm, locals Halfkast & the Grand Audio Family know how to get a room moving. Their music is the kind that will have you booking a reservation for the middle of the dancefloor.


Benjamin Wood aka Halfkast tells us why you need to be in attendance when the Queenslanders take control of Uber this Saturday night.

Can you describe Halfkast & the Grand Audio Family as if it was a trailer to a new blockbuster movie?
They came together in the name of truth, justice and to take down all those who opposed fat beats! Starring Chuck Norris, Steven Segal, Mr T, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren and John Wayne, TGAF are taking a fly kick to all the haters' faces this holiday season!

The live show - what do you cats bring to the stage that makes a Grand Audio Family show an experience?
Full on, flat out, sweat enticing mayhem!

How do you manage to meld so many different influences and styles into the sound that the band have cultivated as their own?
From the beginning there has been a great synergy and respect for each others talents within the band, that above anything has helped in the creative process of refining our sound I'd say.

There's a really prominent soul element to your music - where does that come from?
My love for Billy Joel, because he's all about it!

The lyrical content of the music - what inspires your prose?
Writing about everyday people, my friends and their experiences, that's the real stuff!

Have you been spending any time in the studio? Is there a album in the works?
I promise the album is on the way, we have just begun tracking the vocals.

You're hitting up Uber for a big Saturday night party - what sort of treats are you bringing along for the evening?
Funk for your trunk, trust me!

Brisbane's hip hop, funk scene is a really vibrant, happening community. How integral is the creative buzz such a scene generates to local musicians?
It's the food that feeds us!

The next step for Halfkast & the Grand Audio Family?
Getting onto Chuck (Norris) to play me in the movie!

Check out Halfkast & the Grand Audio Family this Saturday April 4. Support on the night comes from The Low Down, KryptamistiK, RiPe! CREW and Furius Effekt.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011 10:30

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band

FLAGSHIP OF NEW ORLEANS

When people talk New Orleans, they don’t talk about the architecture. They talk about the music, that special brand of funk and jazz, dripping with brass, known all over the world for infusing dancefloors with contagious, irresistible rhythm.

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band are the flagship of that New Orleans sound, but baritone sax player Roger Lewis says it's an honour to keep his musical heritage alive. When the band started their musical sojourn way back in 1977, funk music was king, and while that may have changed, The Dirty Dozen's feverish, foot-stomping popularity has not. They're still oozing with that groove ridden, double-smoked version of soul and funk that could only come from New Orleans.

To what degree has a show like ‘Treme’ lifted the profile of New Orleans music and the community in general?
It's great. It gives people work, which was big after Katrina, and still is. Also when something like that is on HBO, it brings the attention of the world to the great tradition of New Orleans, which has even helped out the tourist industry.

To an outsider, can you explain how important the second line parades are to the city?
The second line is a tradition that's been going on since before I was born. They were originally setup by the Benevolent Society groups for people who couldn't afford proper burials for family members. For those who don't know, the second line parades last about four hours. It's a big street party from block to block. The folks that follow, they are the second line. Everyone is dancing in the street, it's a big party.

As a New Orleans musician, it must be an honour to bring your city’s musical heritage to other parts of the world when you tour?
It's a real privilege and honour to bring your music to different parts of the world and know that people appreciate it around the world.

On the flipside, do you look to incorporate sounds or styles that are indigenous to the area you’re performing in - ie. would the didjeridu have a home on stage with the band?
We could definitely incorporate a didjeridu! I actually can do something on the baritone that sounds a little like it.

Looking back to the late ‘70s when the band started up; how did the group’s inclusion of funk and bebop styles into the traditional New Orleans sound shift the musical landscape?
We didn't shift the musical landscape ourselves, we just looked to bring these other styles into the New Orleans scene that was already going on.

What new styles of music do you draw inspiration, influence from?
Influenced by a lot of different styles, not one particular thing. Whatever we like at that time. Everything from gospel, marching music, standard jazz, Michael Jackson, bebop.

Over the past three, four decades you guys have collaborated with a host of music legends, not just from the jazz scene. Is there a particular collaboration that sticks in the memory bank?
Elvis Costello and Dizzy Gillespie are two that stick out.

You toured Brazil in August; any tour tales to regale us with?
I don't know if we can tell those stories here… I will say that we met one young lady who wanted to come back with us to the States, and her husband wasn't too happy about that!

The music industry has undergone radical changes since you guys started - musically and business wise - though the brass sound seems to be one that is timeless. Can you explain that?
Yeah, people aren't buying CDs but now they're downloading stuff - but the music is timeless, period. I think spiritual music stays around too, because of people's deep personal connection to it.

If you’re not nursing blistered feet and sweaty armpits after a Dirty Dozen Brass Band show, something has gone horribly wrong, right?
If the Dirty Dozen doesn't make you sweat, there's something wrong with YOU! Ain't nothing wrong with us. Like we always say at the end of our shows - we got music for your mind, body and your soul!

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band play the Bellingen Global Carnival, at the Bellingen Showgrounds September 30 - October 1. globalcarnival.com

Thursday, 18 August 2011 12:56

Nick Skitz

Role Model 

As a brand the Skitzmix series needs little introduction; it’s as iconic to an Australian as Vegemite on toast. The man behind it all, Nick Skitz, still shows no signs of slowing down, even with ‘Skitzmix 39’ on the way.

Thursday, 18 August 2011 12:52

Manifest

Get Cracking    

After its inaugural event, Manifest returns next month for a second helping of sublime electronic goodness - think reggae meets dubstep melded to wobble fused to a drum & bass frame and set in motion by psy-trance.

Wednesday, 03 August 2011 12:38

Porter Robinson

Name Dropper 

North Carolina’s Porter Robinson was 18 years old - and had never set foot in a club - when his electro anthem ‘Say My Name’ topped the Beatport chart and earned raves from Tiesto, Paul Van Dyk, David Guetta, The Crystal Method and Armand Van Helden.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011 10:54

DJ Sheep

ON THE FRONT FOOT

Every scene owes its predecessors a certain level of appreciation and acknowledgement. With a movement like hip hop, which is still in its adolescence, both locally and abroad, those who follow must look to the past more often for future direction.

Brisbane’s music scene is as rich as it’s varied; the hip hop culture of the city a fertile ground for what we hear today. But it wasn’t always that way. One of the many contributors to blaze a path for future beatmakers, emcees, b-boys and graf artists is DJ Sheep.

From the influential Terntable Jediz, to taking out multiple Queensland DMC championships, holding down residencies for MOS in Taiwan, and owning one of the best vinyl collections this side of the moon, DJ Sheep has earned his place amongst Brisbane musical identities.

What or who was the biggest influence on you, musically, when growing up?
Run-D.M.C. and Public Enemy. Seeing Public Enemy in concert at Festival Hall in 1989 for the ‘Tour Of A Black Planet’ was my first exposure to hip hop in its live context; simply mindblowing. As far as mentoring goes, I went to high school with Lazy Grey; he and his brother taught me a lot about hip hop culture, we traded tapes and read magazines. I also want to give respect to my mum for buying me a drumkit and letting me do what I wanted with music; N.W.A. was not a problem at my house! Also, major respect to DJ Damage and DJ Bribe/ Angus (R.I.P.) for teaching me how to DJ.

Do you see yourself as an educator when you’re DJing?
In a way, I’d like to say yes, however the people who want to be educated are few and far between. There are more requests than people coming up asking “what’s this you’re playing?” Travelling the globe for the past decade and unearthing records does obviously give me exclusive material to expose to the crowd, however it’s abroad that this is most appreciated.

Would you ever consider running your own DJ school?
DJ Damage and I ran the Australian School of Turntablism back in the mid-2000s in the Valley. A-Trak was one of the guest teachers. It was highly successful and spawned some great talent, including Lopsided (750 Rebels). I’m too busy managing my own career to be teaching others on a regular basis unfortunately. However we may re-open the school again sometime in the future.

If you were given the reigns of the Brisbane music scene, what would you do?
First, I’d shut down all of the generic clubs. ‘Jersey Shore’ lives in the Valley, it’s full of fist pumping footy jocks that want to start fights. Next, I’d forbid management to have ANY say in what DJs play. We should be given free reign to play the music we love, as we are the selector. In my experience, most club owners know fuck all about music in the first place, however they always have an ‘idea’ of what they want – “something funky, up-tempo, groovy”; that description ALWAYS means something different to what they really want, it’s frustrating as hell. I’d also implement a strict ‘no request’ policy. If you don’t like that, stay at home with your slab of VB and iPod on repeat. People need to re-learn how to appreciate a DJ for what they are, a music connoisseur, not a jukebox.

You’ve played all over the planet; Brisbane on the global scale - do we rate as a musical destination?
No. There’s definitely talent, but not that much of it when it comes to skills. That might hurt some feelings, but it’s true, even with technology at peoples disposal, half these ‘so-called DJs’ wouldn’t know the history of disco, rap, dance or black music! If you’re a DJ, do yourself a favour and read the book ‘Last Night A DJ Saved My Life’.

With all of the technological advances at the disposal of anyone with a flash drive and 500 Facebook friends, the club DJ circa 2011 is a much different beast; are we reaching a point where DJs with actual talent will start to weed out the ‘paint-by-numbers’ jocks?
I’m training this one guy, Prop. Greg. He’s someone to look out for. We’ve revamped the Terntable Jediz with DJ Damage and myself back in effect as a duo and I have a new crew called Dirty Diggaz, coupled with the monthly Weird Gear event… quality music is coming to the forefront. These ‘mash-up-one-trick-pony’ types will eventually just fade away.

Now Sheep, try and avoid a lawsuit here, what irks you about the music industry?
A shitload. I’ve worked for major labels (75 Ark in San Francisco), I’ve worked for mega clubs (Ministry of Sound in Taiwan), I’ve worked as a promoter (multiple Australasian tours with Q-Bert, Craze and A-Trak), and I’ve worked as a DJ worldwide. I’ve seen every side of the industry with my own eyes. There’s so much shady shit that goes on. One thing that sticks out are clubs who pay poor wages to the DJs. The effort into purchasing equipment and records highly outweighs the income. People who make requests piss me off; I don't give two shits if it’s your birthday or what you want to hear. I’m at work. Give me some room. I don’t come to your job and tell you how many pickles to put on a Cheeseburger, or how to edit your spreadsheet, do I?

Dig back through all of the sets you’ve played over the years; which ones stick in the memory banks the most?
Firstly, when I won the DMC for the first time. It was an overwhelming feeling. Participating in the healthy Brisbane DJ battle scene from 2001-2003 was a time I’ll never forget; five titles all with unanimous outcomes in my favour, then walking away from it. ‘Quitting while you’re ahead’ is my motto. No more battling. Point proven.

Secondly, I’d have to say when I played at the Do-Over in Los Angeles with Aloe Blacc on the microphone at the Mayer Hawthorne video shoot with J-Rocc. Then having my photo appear on the front page of the L.A. Times Entertainment section the next morning. The Do-Over is the holy grail of DJ gigs; you are ‘invited’ to play, you can’t ‘ask’ for a slot.

Thirdly, touring with DJ Damage in 2001 for a month around Europe, driving all over playing gigs off records we bought in stores on the road. We supported Big Daddy Kane, Phife Dawg, etc. and watched DJ Craze retire at the DMC World Finals. It was great being on tour with my mentor. Fourth, going on tour with J-Zone as ‘Extra Chee$e’, our DJ duo. We had a lot of fun and did a ton of shows around the US and Europe.

Finally, holding down the fort at Ministry of Sound in Taipei for a year gave me a taste of what real DJ ‘fame’ feels like. Playing to a sea of people multiple times a week solidified my skills as a club DJ, especially in regards to mixing and programming.

Aside from the monthly Weird Gear events you run, where else can we find you playing out?
Rumpus Room, 56 Russell Street, West End. First Saturday of the month: 8pm–2am. Rotating Thursdays with Fisher Price for Dust: 8pm–1am. And as you mentioned, the last Sunday of the month at Weird Gear from 3pm–8pm. Rumpus staff and management are family to me. It’s the only venue that has stayed consistent and never jerked me around. They have their ears finely tuned to where music should be in this city, treat the DJs with respect and most importantly, let us play what we want. I actually look forward to going to work. That’s the best gig I’ve had in my 15-year career as a DJ. I also play intermittently at alloneword. For more information and bookings please visit djsheep.com and facebook.com/mobbsheep

You can catch both the Terntable Jediz Reunion this Saturday (July 30) and Weird Gear on Sunday (July 31) at Rumpus Room.

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